Uttara Kannada District is 5th Largest District of Karnataka State with abundant natural resources. The district has varied geographical features with thick forest, perennial rivers and abundant flora and fauna and a long coastal line of about 140 KM in length.
Uttara Kannada, also known as North Kanara or North Canara, is a Konkan district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is bordered by the state of Goa and Belgaum District to the north, Dharwad District and Haveri District to the east, Shimoga District and Udupi District to the south and the Arabian Sea to the west. The city of Karwar is the administrative headquarters of the district.
In its 10.25 lakh hectares of total land, of which 8.28 hectares is Forest land. And only about 1.2 lakh hectares of land (roughly about 10%) is under agriculture / horticulture. Uttara Kannada was the home of the Kadamba kingdom from the 350 to 525. They ruled from Banavasi. After the subjugation of the Kadambas by the Chalukyas, the district came under successive rule of empires like Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas and Vijayanagar empire. Famous Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta is said to have stayed for a time in the district under the protection of Nawayath Sultan Jamal Al-Din at Hunnur.This place is presently known as Hosapattana and is located in the town of Honnavar. Ruins of an old mosque and its minaret can still be seen in the village. The district came under the rule of Maratha Empire in the 1750s and later part of Mysore Kingdom, who ceded it to the British at the conclusion of the Fourth Mysore War in 1799. It was initilally part of Kanara district in Madras Presidency. The district was divided to North and South Kanara districts in 1859. The British finally transferred Uttara Kannada district to Bombay Presidency in 1862.
After India’s independence in 1947, Bombay Presidency was reconstituted as Bombay State. In 1956 the southern portion of Bombay State was added to Mysore State, which was renamed Karnataka in 1972. Uttara Kannada was an ancient site of sea trade visited by the Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese, French and later the British. Ibn Battuta passed through this route during one or more of his journeys.
Significant and picturesque, the Sadashivgad fort of historical importance is now a popular tourist destination located by the Kali river bridge, which has been built at the confluence of the river and the Arabian Sea. The renowned Bengali poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who visited Uttara Kannada in 1882, dedicated an entire chapter of his memoirs to this town. The 22-year-old Rabindranath Tagore stayed with his brother, Satyendranath Tagore, who was the district judge in Uttara Kannada. There is a substantial amount of Chardo families in this area as they had migrated due to the persecution of the Portuguese in Goa.
Cintacora, also known as Chitrakul (Chittakula) and Sindpur, was known to the Portuguese as a very old port. When Sadashivgad was built in this area, the village also came to be known by that name. Pir fort, named for the Dargah of Shahkaramuddin, was captured and burnt by the Portuguese in 1510. The creek at the mouth of the Kali River was a trading center which came into greater prominence after Sadashivgad was built and the Portuguese realised the advantages of its sheltered harbor.
In 1638 a rival English trading body, the Courteen Association, established a factory at Uttara Kannada (actually the village named Kadwad, situated 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) eastwards on the banks of the Kali river). It was a trade port frequented by traders from Arabia and Africa. Baitkhol port (the current civil port of Uttara Kannada) was famous for its natural harbor. The name Baithkhol is Arabic term, Bait-e-kol, meaning bay of safety. Muslin was the chief commodity purchased but Uttara Kannada was also a source for Pepper, Cardamom, Cassier and coarse blue cotton cloth. Situated on India’s west coast, 50 miles south-east of Goa, Uttara Kannada was noted for its safe harbor. In 1649 the Courteen Association united with the British East India Company and Uttara Kannada became a Company factory.
Kingdom of Mysore
In the Treaty of Mangalore signed in 1784, between Tipu Sultan and the East India Company, one finds reference to Uttara Kannada and Sadashivgad written as Carwar and Sadasewgude respectively.
The British Empire
The British made Uttara Kannada their district headquarters in 1862. Since 1862, the time from which it came under Bombay Presidency, Uttara Kannada was described as a first rate harbor between Bombay and Colombo.
Uttara Kannada was a part of the Maratha Empire during the 18th century. After the defeat of the Marathas in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, it became a part of British territory. It was a part of the Bombay Presidency until 1950. The languages spoken here are Kannada, Konkani, Tulu and Marathi. The cultural pattern of the people has been influenced by Northern Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Uttara Kannada is one of the major tourist districts in the state. Uttara Kannada district is the land of rivers. The main rivers are Kali, Gangavali, Aghanashini, Sharavati. The other rivers are Venktapur and Varada. These rivers form many waterfalls; the famous waterfalls include Jogfalls, Unchalli falls, Magod falls, Shivaganga falls, Lalguli and Mailmane waterfalls.